Katheryn D. Katz passed away on May 30, 2012, after a battle with breast and brain cancer.
She was born September 3, 1933, in Chicago, Ill. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After a decade-long break to raise her children, Kathy went to law school, starting at the University of New Mexico and graduating from Albany Law School in 1970.
Her first position after law school was as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Law Fellow, which reflected her lifelong concern with justice for the less powerful and affluent members of society. Kathy then entered private practice and was one of the founding partner of Powers & Katz, one of the first female law firms in New York. She also served as an assistant professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Kathy spent the vast majority of her career as an award-winning member of the faculty of Albany Law School. When she joined the faculty in 1975, she was one of only two women members. She taught the first domestic violence law courses in the nation, as well as other courses in the areas of constitutional law, family law, children in the law, and women and the law. She was also a role model, inspiring and mentoring students and alumni alike.
She received a Kate Stoneman Award in 1995.
Albany Law School named her the first the Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy in 2007 - a position she held until her retirement in 2009.
"Professor Katz is an accomplished family law scholar who has been inspiring and mentoring our students and graduates for more than 30 years," said President and Dean Thomas F. Guernsey at the time. "I am proud and honored to recognize her remarkable contributions which so closely reflect those of Kate Stoneman."
Prof. Katz taught in the areas of constitutional law, family law, children in the law and women and the law. She published over 30 articles and book chapters around family law and constitutional law. Her research and publication interests include reproductive rights of minors, cloning, and embryo donation.
Kathy served on numerous committees and commissions, including the New York State Governor's Commission on Domestic Violence, the Civil Rights Committee of the New York State Bar, the New York State Bar's Special Committee on Biotechnology and the Law, the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, and the Committee on Research on Human Subjects at the Albany Medical Center. Kathy loved reading, the performing and visual arts, traveling, and-most of all-time spent with family and friends. When asked her most-prized accomplishment, the answer was always the same: her family.
The Katheryn D. Katz Student Award is presented to a current Albany Law School student annually on Kate Stoneman Day .
The award contribution has been graciously contributed by Elizabeth Katz Toohey, the daughter of the late Professor Katz, Amy J. Kellogg '02; and Prof. Laurie F. Shanks, Clinical Professor of Law, Emerita, and member of the Kate Stoneman Honorary Committee.
Katheryn D. Katz '70,
Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy, Professor of Law, Emeritus